City Life's community organizing makes front page news in The Boston Globe

City Life's work with older women fighting eviction at Our Lady's Guild House was featured on the front page of The Boston Globe. We're on the ground supporting the women alongside Fenway Community Development Corporation. The nuns that own this large rooming house, The Daughters of Mary of the Immaculate Conception, have strayed from their mission of helping those in need and instead are operating much like the large profit-driven owners we deal with every day. After reading the article, SIGN THE PETITION in solidarity with these bold women - help us reach 1,500 signatures!

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City Life/Vida Urbana on Radio Boston: Displacement in Egleston Square

We're on WBUR's Radio Boston, talking about how the displacement crisis has hit Egleston Square. What does it take to stop the displacement of historically redlined immigrant neighborhoods like Egleston? Organizing for real affordability & tenant protections!

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VICTORY for Dorchester Grandmother Facing No-fault Eviction

INCREDIBLE NEWS! Ms. Rosa Poincy, a Dorchester grandmother and Section 8 renter at the Baker Chocolate Factory apartments has WON A NEW LEASE after facing imminent no-fault eviction.

How did Rosa's victory happen?

First, Rosa made the courageous decision to speak out for her home, instead of just packing her bags. Then, YOU signed a petition that garnered over 1200 supporters. Next, we held a beautiful and strong vigil and rally in front of Rosa's apartment, where Rosa made it clear that *she wasn't going anywhere*. Groups like Dorchester Is Not for Sale, Dorchester People for PeaceRight to The City Boston and the City's Department of Neighborhood Development joined Rosa's clarion call for justice.

But what was the magic sauce? Rosa took a risk. She believed that if she stood up, the community would rise with her. AND WE DID!

Every day, we see low-income families of color getting pushed out of Boston's overheated housing market for no fault of their own, due only to real estate greed. But we can, and do, win homes back.

NEXT STEP: JOIN OUR ACTION ALERT LIST to participate in other actions (and more victories!) for housing justice.

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2018 Holiday Hours

City Life/Vida Urbana will be CLOSED from Tuesday, December 25th, 2018 through Tuesday, January 1st, 2019.

There will be no weekly Tuesday night meetings in Jamaica Plain on Tuesday, December 25th, 2018 or Tuesday, January 1st, 2019. Tuesday night meetings will resume on Tuesday, January 8th, 2019. Thank you and happy holidays!

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Video: We're Building A People's Plan for The Future of Housing in Boston

VIDEO RELEASE: What will it take to hold our communities together during Boston's displacement crisis? A PEOPLE'S PLAN for housing development, led by neighborhood residents on the frontlines of the crisis. WE'RE BUILDING IT alongside many partner organizations in Right to the City Boston. Sign up to get involved at

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We're building a People's Plan for Boston!

Saturday, September 22nd, 2018: Over 250 residents gathered for citywide assembly to build a People's Plan for housing development in Boston. Along with resident-led neighborhood groups Reclaim Roxbury, Dorchester Not for Sale, and Keep It 100 for Real Affordable Housing and Racial Justice and other Boston-based housing justice organizations in the national Homes for All campaign, we began drafting the plan. The assembly centered the needs of Bostonians on the front lines of the displacement crisis and proposals were generated by these residents. 

After the "People's Plan" assembly, participants marched to the national YIMBYtown ("Yes In My Backyard") conference of advocates for increasing housing supply. Despite a last-minute relocation of the scheduled plenary and an attempt by some YIMBYtown organizers to prevent protesters from entering, over 100 residents, many from Roxbury, boldly paraded in. 

Groups sponsoring the protest included Reclaim RoxburyKeep It 100 for Real Affordable HousingCity Life/Vida UrbanaDorchester Not for SaleNew England United for Justice, and Action for Equity.

Lisa Owens, Executive Director of the 45-year-old housing justice organization City Life/Vida Urbana, led the interruption alongside Roxbury residents.

"I'm greeting you as a woman who grew up around the corner," Owens said. "I stand here as a member of the Homes for All coalition...The people most impacted by the displacement crisis must lead this housing movement, and anyone who believes differently is not an ally of racial justice," said Owens.

City Life/Vida Urbana has supported tenants - predominantly Latino and African American - in over 75 building-wide "clear-outs" in the past five years.

Owens then appealed to potential YIMBY supporters: "There are some people in the room that truly care about affordable housing. And unfortunately some who have taken on the YIMBY banner have been co-opted by people who want to put more money in developers' pockets," Owens said, referring to many YIMBYs' push for new luxury housing through deregulation.

The coalition of neighborhood and non-profit groups that organized the "People's Plan" assembly launched a pledge campaign on Monday, September 24th, via Twitter, asking YIMBYs in Boston and around the U.S. to support the campaigns of Bostonians in the grip of the city's historic surge of displacement.







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Build a People's Plan for Boston's future on 9/22/18!

Saturday, September 22nd, at 10 Putnam St., First Church of Roxbury - BUILD A PEOPLE'S PLAN for Boston's future!

Register now at

Tired of neighbors, friends and family getting displaced? Think the rent is too damn high? Tired of widespread luxury development? Then JOIN US for a Boston assembly to build a people's plan!

**Light lunch, child care, and interpretation provided!**

What's happening at the assembly? 

**We'll weave together a variety of housing initiatives (and related initiatives about zoning, jobs, land, and transit) that our neighborhoods are actively fighting for and will particularly focus on consolidating city-wide demands and equitable development standards that are created thru a community-run process.

**We'll connect the impact of our experiences to build shared power.

**We'll build our movement for Homes for All and our relationships between Boston's neighborhoods to advance a vision of equitable development in which community engagement is central and we stop forced-displacement of our low-income communities of color.

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City Life/Vida Urbana in national Shelterforce Magazine

Our work on landlord negotiations was featured in Shelterforce, a national magazine on housing issues! 


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Celebrating 45 Years: Lisa Owens, Executive Director of City Life/Vida Urbana

At City Life/Vida Urbana's 45th anniversary celebration, Executive Director Lisa Owens speaks about our roots, love, comradery, and building for the new. #EndDisplacement #ANewWorldIsPossible

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Thank you for celebrating 45 years with us at Uprise!

Lisa Owens, the Executive Director of City Life/Vida Urbana, inspires the crowd at the organization's 45th birthday celebration.

Over 300 people celebrated grassroots work to prevent evictions at City Life/Vida Urbana's 45th birthday bash, Uprise.

City Life members and supporters busted a move at the end of the organization's 45th anniversary celebration.

Housing justice organizers and supporters of City Life/Vida Urbana celebrated at City Life's 45th anniversary party.

Roxbury-born actress and singer Lovely Hoffman performed a rendition of Andra Day's song "I'll Rise Up" for City Life/Vida Urbana's 45th birthday bash.

Gail Appling and Andres Del Castillo MC'd City Life/Vida Urbana's 45th birthday celebration, Uprise, on May 19th.

Multimedia installations including video documentaries chronicled City Life/Vida Urbana's housing justice victories over the group's 45 year history at Uprise.

Red Sage Stories performed improvisational theater based on stories of displacement and resistance that they gathered from the audience.

Multimedia installations including large-scale collage brought to life City Life/Vida Urbana's housing justice victories over the group's 45 year history at Uprise.

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